The Flinders Ranges Council has appointed the former CEO of the Northern Territory Local Government Association (LGANT) as its new CEO, following a nation-wide search. 

LGANT bid farewell to its CEO, Sean Holden, this week after four years at the helm. 

Mr Holden successfully led the peak body of Northern Territory local government through various challenges and his achievements include:

  • The COVID pandemic and the securing of the rapid response package of $11 million from the NTG to support member councils maintain services to their communities
  • Transition of LGANT from an association to a company limited by guarantee
  • Rebranding of LGANT including refreshed logo, new website, appointment of Marketing and Communications Officer, marketing and communications plan and advocacy plan
  • First and only local government association (LGA) in Australia to be a signatory and active participant in Closing the Gap
  • First LGA to have a Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Secured full Northern Territory Cabinet meetings with local government leaders twice per year
  • 150 per cent increase in Conditional Rates for member councils from mining pastoral activity

Mr. Holden is returning to the Flinders Ranges region to assume his new role in mid-February 2024.

Flinders Ranges Council said that one of Mr. Holden’s notable strengths lies in his established connections with both State and Federal Governments. This network is anticipated to play a crucial role in advancing Council agendas and addressing key issues that impact the community.

Mr Holden said that he remains indebted to the LGANT Board, staff and the local government councils for giving him the opportunity to lead them since 2019. 

“I have learnt an awful lot and will miss some wonderful people who strive every day to make lives better for those perhaps less fortunate,” Mr Holden said. 

LGANT President, Kon Vatskalis, acknowledged Mr Holden’s dedication and contributions throughout the years. 

“While his departure is considered a loss for local government, LGANT is well-positioned for the future,” Mr Vatskalis said. 

“Everyone respects him for his unwavering determination to make tough but fair decisions. His ability to offer wise guidance has been invaluable to myself and our member councils.”

“I will miss him both professionally and personally; and thank him for his contribution to our sector.”

In the interim, Mary Watson, Director Public Affairs, has been appointed Acting CEO starting 5 February. 

The LGANT Board will convene on 9 February to determine the arrangements for the recruitment of a new CEO.

Mr Holden said that he is looking forward to moving back home and embracing this opportunity with The Flinders Ranges Council. 

“My aim is to bring a fresh perspective and outlook to the position, ensuring a positive impact on the community we serve.”

In the initial weeks following his commencement, Mr Holden will dedicate time to meeting with all Council staff, fostering collaboration and understanding among team members. 

Additionally, he is committed to establishing strong connections within the local community to gain insights and perspectives that will guide his approach to leadership.

Flinders Ranges Mayor, Ken Anderson, said that he was excited to have Mr Holden accept the CEO position and looks forward to his commencement.

“Sean’s leadership background and experience living in and working with regional communities makes him well equipped to lead our Council and will see him make a valuable contribution to the Council and our communities,” Mayor Anderson said. 

“On behalf of The Flinders Ranges Council, and the communities it serves, I extend a warm welcome to Mr. Holden and look forward to the positive contributions he will make in steering the Council towards its goals and objectives.”


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